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Are the laws always effective?

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  • Published
    18th Dec, 2019
  • Disconnection between laws and practices: Critics point out that there is often disconnect between laws and practices in India.
    • For example, according to a 2012 United Nations report, 47% of Indian women marry younger than 18 (the legal marriage age is 21 for men and 18 for women). This is almost half the women population of India.
  • Biases: Caste, class, religious bias and race also determine whether action is taken or not against the perpetrator.
    • For example, poor or lower-caste females do not have the same access to legal enforcement or education, and often have trouble getting help from law enforcement agencies.
  • Delayed justice system: According to NCRB data, 29% of all cases of rape at the end of 2017 were unresolved by police forces across the country. The court backlog is even worse: nearly 88% of all rape cases in Indian courts were pending resolution in 2017.
  • Extrajudicial justice: Delays in the system could also be encouraging support for extrajudicial justice. Something that happened in the case of perpetrators of Hyderabad incident, who were killed in a police encounter. A significant proportion of India’s police force believes that extrajudicial killings and violence towards criminals is justified.
    • The 2019 Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS) survey found that 19% of police personnel believe that killing dangerous criminals is better than a legal trial and 75% feel that violence towards criminals is justified.
    • Similarly, the 2018 CSDS survey suggested that 50% of all Indians believe there is nothing wrong with violence towards criminals.

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